Does My Dog Need A Wheelchair?

Tan Happy Short Dog with long hair standing with tongue out in a dog cart/wheelchair that is blue

Mobility Loss- Animal Wheelchairs/Carts

This can be a heartbreaking question to ask and can be on our minds for many different reasons. So let’s start with talking about what are dog wheelchairs used for:

Support when recovering from injury or surgery- It’s common to need some sort of assistive device after certain injuries or surgeries, especially depending on the patient’s age and body condition. From supportive sling to full support wheelchair, there are significant benefits to recovering with the properly chosen and fit support system.
Support with progressive mobility loss- Progressive mobility loss is a condition or disease that worsens and changes over the course of a dog’s diagnosis. Arthritis and muscle wasting in senior dogs can be a major cause of mobility decline as it affects 1 in 5 dogs. Although not a “mobility condition,” as canine cancer spreads, it can impact a dog’s strength, stamina, and ability to walk. There are other medical conditions like degenerative myelopathy that can cause progressive paralysis as well, where the focus becomes the best quality of life as the mobility declines.
Support with progressing rehab therapy exercises– Depending on the patient’s condition and situation, assistance is needed to help progress them safely through the beneficial exercises. When used properly by a trained canine rehabilitation therapist, wheelchairs and other assistive devices can be an important part of safely getting your canine companion up and going again.

Here are some other conditions that, depending on the severity and situation, may benefit from a canine cart/wheelchair or other assistive mobility device:

There are some things to consider that you may not have thought of, when it comes to having a wheelchair/cart as part of your dog’s care. Some things to consider are:

Below are some Free Information PDF’s provided by Walkin’Pets. This is one of the companies many veterinarians and rehab professionals trust. I personally also like the good they have done in so many communities with assistance programs and always improving for the next best fit.

PS- From Dr. Emily

I also have had to ask myself these hard questions before. I know the jumbled mix of thoughts and feelings that may be tumbling uncomfortably inside your heart & mind. You aren’t alone in this. Your canine companion needs you to be their amazing person you are being by asking these questions. You are doing it! Being the best pet parent you can be!

So, while there are many different and still valid professional opinions on this topic, what I hope you get most out of this today is that- this is a hard moment, but you aren’t alone. Reach out via email at when you are feeling a little overwhelmed with where to go with your questions about veterinary rehab.

The fact that you are taking the time to try to learn how you can help your fur family shows what a great pet parent you are, and I’m here to help. We can see what he best next steps may be.

With Love & Kindness,


All information on this website is intended for instruction and informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.